Release Management can be defined as the process of managing, planning, scheduling and also controlling the whole process of building a piece of software via various stages of development and environments – such as testing and deploying software releases. Most of the Organizations follow a certain process around releasing their software to their environments. Typically application versions are promoted to a various number of environments ranging from Development environment, to the Staging environment and then to the SIT and then to the UAT environments for the other integrations, and the necessary testing. Release Management in other words is also about developers and application development, and the focus area has been trending towards Agile from Waterfall model for more than a decade now. The primary focus of Release Management process is to move software projects through these various stages or environments and be focused on iterative, regular releases.
Now with this initial background around the Release Management as a process, let us see what advantages this brings in a DevOps pipeline, should a customer plans to adopt a Release Management DevOps tool into their pipeline. We will be discussing about many of the products that are available either open source or premium versions in this space and also discuss the various advantages that these tools bring to the table if they are included as part of the DevOps pipeline for any Organization or institution. With no further delay we can get into the next section where these are going to be discussed in greater detail.
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With the initial background about the concept of Release Management, let us now take a look at the tools that are made available in this area. In this section of the article, we will be introducing you to the available options in the Release Management space which can either be open-source or they can be premium paid tools as well. We will not be differentiating the tools in any manner but we will point out the advantages that might help Organizations.
1. XL Release:
XL Release is an end to end tool that helps pipeline orchestration for Continuous Delivery and DevOps teams. XL Release is a software tool that is specifically designed to automate, orchestrate and also to get the keen visibility into the release pipelines. It has the ease to manage the most advanced release pipelines and also allows to know the status of automated, manual steps across the whole pipeline. It also helps in identifying the bottlenecks to reduce the number of errors that might happen and thereby lower the risk of release failures.
XL Release has the ability to handle both manual and automated tasks, complex dependencies and also handles release chains. It has great integration capabilities with your change and release management tools as well. The tool in itself allows you to plan, track and execute releases automatically and hence provides you with the time that you can actually spend on better planning. It acts as a single source of information for all the release related activities.
Following are some of the advantages of using XL Release, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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Clarive is a tool that is designed to simplify, automate and speed up the whole release management process within your Organizations. CollabNet’s Clarive is an application release management tool that does all the coordination that is necessary for the release coordination, deployment automation. It also provides ways and means to manage different environments to ensure speed and reliability of application delivery for your Organization and your software product release cycle.
Automating release and change management is the most important aspect that needs to be taken care for any of the organizations and also a key aspect in achieving Continuous Delivery. To ensure that the whole release cycle is smooth there needs to be a lot of effort that needs to be put in from various number of members and also the whole process should be in sync. Clarive plays a key role in interfacing both directions on getting all the necessary details from the necessary stakeholders and progressive tracking to complete the release delivery as such.
Following are some of the advantages of using Clarive, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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3. Tasktop Integration Hub:
Tasktop provides the software integration, for all of your organization’s tools to create an integrated value for your organization. Tasktop Integration Hub is the one stop solution that handles all the software delivery integration needs without having to vouch for another tool as such. Using the Tasktop Integration Hub, It does provide the right information to the right person via the right tool at the right perfect time.
Following are some of the advantages of using Tasktop Integration Hub, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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4. IBM UrbanCode Release:
IBM UrbanCode that falls into the bucket of deployment tools in the DevOps space can be coined as an application release automation tool which has the ability to combine visibility, traceability and auditing capabilities. It has the ability to deploy seamlessly to distributed data centers, cloud and also to virtual environments based on a schedule or as frequently as possible. It also automates the deployment to on-premise or cloud environments. The practical use of this tool is observed when it reduces the amount of time that is required to complete full deployment and as well as reducing the chances of any errors.
IBM UrbanCode Deploy allows the user to import the code from a file system or a from a code management system, creates all the application process using a simple to use drag drop tool before the automatic deployment process. The same processes can be loaded into various versions of processes and deployment. It also has the ability to learn the common aspects from similar deployments and hence the deployment scripts be reused in various other situations without having to rewrite the entire thing every single time – thus saving considerable amount of time which could be used elsewhere.
Following are some of the advantages of using IBM UrbanCode, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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5. Octopus Deploy:
One of the most important piece of any software development process is the capability to automate the application deployment through any medium, be it build scripts or tools that are used. One of the intentions on building Octopus Deploy was to build a tool that can automate deployment for .NET applications. It comes with much of ease from the installation time itself, letting you choose to install on a server or on an Azure instance. Octopus Deploy further works along with your build servers to provide reliable, secure and automated releases of your .NET applications into various environments of your software development (be it Testing, Staging, UAT or Production environments) and be it on-premise or cloud environments.
Following are some of the advantages of using Octopus Deploy, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
LaunchDarkly is yet another tool that allows software teams to progress quicker with lesser amounts of risk. Its vision is to ensure that it eliminates all possible risks for the developers and the operations teams (for the non-DevOps and the DevOps teams) from the software development lifecycle. This is the go to tool if you want to implement the simple rule from Concept to Launch and then to Value, you won’t have to choose anything else. Not just that, it also provides its support to more than that is required, most of the popular programming languages are already covered in the same.
Following are some of the advantages of using LaunchDarkly, let us now take a look at each and every one of them.
7. CA Automic Release Automation:
CA Automic Release Automation is yet another tool in the DevOps chain that helps in automating complex business processes, application including the necessary infrastructure. This tool is specifically designed for the Finance automation and DevOps sectors of the business, and is available both on-premise and also on cloud. This tool gives you the very much needed agility, speed, visibility and scalability that helps the Development teams to respond to the every changing technology landscape. There is a lot of intelligence that is imbibed in the tool itself which helps the business process automation product manage centrally the execution of all the business processes across mainframes, cloud or hybrid environments. This is the same set of features that will be provided during the upgrade of the tool in itself.
Following are some of the advantages of using CA Automic Release Automation, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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8. Micro Focus Dimensions CM:
Dimensions CM (which is earlier known as Serena Dimensions CM) is a tool that manages all the application changes across various platforms and teams. It is a tool that streamlines the complexity of parallel development, which in turn increases the team velocity. It not only provides accelerated delivery but also provides features as like planning, tracking of development activities. Dimensions CM also helps delivery teams to monitor and manage agile environments effectively. It emphasizes on a collaborative, web based peer review process amongst developers motivating them more towards teamwork. Dimensions CM is the tool that brings together both the development and the review process in order to improve the real time communication and collaboration.
The tool also helps in organizing and also prioritizing development requests for better backlog grooming. Requests that are identified in the step above can be added to development iteration / sprint. Troubleshooting process is improved by knowing the context of all the code changes. The tool is powerful enough to point out on the changes made and by whom, also mentions the request number or the work-item for which the change has been made. This tool also comes along with the built-in peer reviews features along with code branch visualization.
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Following are some of the advantages of using Micro Focus Dimensions CM, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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9. Plutora Release:
Plutora Release is a robust and on-demand enterprise IT Release Management software tool that is built to help organizations manage releases effectively and efficiently. It is a cloud based release management tool which enables in planning, executing and coordinating release across complex interdependent applications. The tool also allows managing environments allocation to phases in each release thus provides better visibility. This also ensures the control over environments and also provides efficient utilization.
Following are some of the advantages of using Plutora Release, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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10. CA Release Automation:
CA Release Automation is yet another tool that falls into the space of Release Management tools which handle DevOps projects. It is an enterprise class, continuous delivery (CD) solution that helps in automating complex, multi-tier release deployments. It is a dynamic application deployment tool which helps in regulating the application delivery across the enterprises. It enables zero touch deployment from the development environment to the Production environment. It also helps in achieving higher quality releases with the automation in the areas of application releases. This tool helps in reduces the number of manual steps and tries to automate the processes with scripted steps.
Following are some of the advantages of using CA Release Automation, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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In this article we have tried to understand the process of Release Management and also along with that, we have tried to understand the advantages that it brings to the table when it is introduced into the DevOps pipeline. We have gone through various products and also the advantages that these tools bring when introduced into your Organizational DevOps pipelines. Hope you have got all the information that you were looking for in this article itself. Please also do mention if there are any comments, corrections in this article.
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